How to take the tranquility from a spa room in a matter of seconds: Pull up your shirt and show your masseuse the large patch of poison on your hip, tell her to be careful.
I was a bit afraid that it would cause a problem – that she would have to avoid my left side completely – but apparently she’s not allergic, and man I hope that is true, for her sake.
I received a full-body massage and it was as if the poison was not there – the intensity of the 50-minute session elevated from what I’ve experienced in the past. My previous Swedish massages were rather mellow, but this one was a step up on the scale: I had elbows in my backside and neck, forearms across my head, fingers digging into my palms.
It was absolutely amazing – incredible really – the pressure adding to the fragile feeling that at times overcomes my body during a massage. It’s a good thing, like you’re dropping a set of armor that’s carried around daily.
Before she left so I could de-robe but after I selected Orange Mandarin as the scent for my oil, she asked me, “What’s your favorite part about getting a massage?”
My response was weak at the time – I said something about the feeling of it – but had I taken a minute to think, I would have talked about how a massage is far more than fingers on the skin. The therapy goes well beyond getting under the sheets and onto the table, and it is my belief that an hour massage should be at least a two-hour experience.
I’ve written before about the intimacy involved in the process: Skin-on-skin, lying naked in fresh sheets, and the fragile nature of the spine, for example. Yet yesterday I was reminded of the larger process – the one that begins the moment you walk through the front door.
The spa here at Mirbeau felt like a shelter, especially given the weather outside. The wind was ripping across the pond outside my room – spitting water onto the far bank – however once I entered the facility I was protected. No wind or rain or overcast sky was on my mind, my senses picking up the gentle music and fragrant smells.
I don’t want to go too flowery on you, but these things have to be pointed out – they’re too much a part of the relaxation to let them go unappreciated. You’ve got to enjoy the things that join forces to calm you, such as the Eucalyptus Steam room, the Aqua Terrace, drinking hot tea and cold juices in the relaxation area, wearing a robe around for most of the day (Mirbeau allows you to sport your robe around the hotel up until the dinner hour).
I took advantage of that.